The World Freestyle Wrestling Championships got off to a bright start in Sofia on Friday (27 August) as the mammoth 216-strong entry eased into muscled action on the opening day of the tournament.
SV Teams parade (UK, USSR, & Japan) (3 shots)
SV PAN Across crowd
SV Team representatives hoist championship flag
SV Flag PAN DOWN TO team officials
SV Crowd applaud
SV Bout in progress between Wada (Japan) & Tosti (Italy) PAN TO scoreboard
SV Bout continues
SV Bout in progress between Sereter (Mongolia) & Farhandoust (Iran)
SCU Indicator board
SV Bout continues
LV Crowd applauds
Initials SGM/1312 SGM/1259
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Background: The World Freestyle Wrestling Championships got off to a bright start in Sofia on Friday (27 August) as the mammoth 216-strong entry eased into muscled action on the opening day of the tournament.
Wrestling takes second place only to soccer in Bulgaria, and an estimated 20,000 spectators turned out to watch Friday's bouts. This year's competitors are representing 32 countries and weights ranging from paperweight (85 lbs, about 48 kilogrammes) to the super heavyweight (open limit).
This film, from Bulgarian Television, shows the opening ceremony on Friday and two bouts in progress.
SYNOPSIS: The thirteenth World Freestyle Wrestling Championships opened in Sofia on Friday, attended by an estimated 20,000 people. Bulgarians are avid wrestling fans, and the sport takes second place only to soccer in spectator attraction. There are 216 competitors in this year's championships, 65 more than last year. The wrestlers represent 32 countries, and are fighting in weight divisions ranging from the tiny paperweight to the open heavyweight limit.
A lightweight bout between Wada of Japan and Tosti of Italy provided the crowd with some excellent displays of technical skill. Wada took the bout easily and won by a 15-point margin, showing superior skill in groundwork and at one stage, dazzled the crowd with a series of complicated grapevine holds.
In the middleweight division, Sereter of Mongolia drew with Farhandoust of Iran after a closely fought bout. Both fighters displayed technical skill during the bout and many of their moves drew rounds of applause from the crowd. Host nation Bulgaria was the most successful team of the day, conceding no defeats in six bouts. Despite strong challenges from the United States, the Bulgarians were expected to take the main honours in the championships.